Hofstra University Honors College's Blog

Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Can YOU disconnect this summer?

Now that we’re almost a month into Summer Break and mostly full swing into our plans, I wanted to share an article from the Boston Globe about bringing technology along during our vacations.

The full article is here but I wanted to post a few quotes as well.

“I know it sounds bad,’’ said Wallace, of Roslindale, as she worked on her laptop at Panera in Brookline, “but seeing if I had an e-mail was more exciting than looking at the sunset.’’

She’s 22, the same age as me. I’m pretty sure if I were in her position, I’d totally be taking photos of that sunset… (Whether or not I’d be using an iPhone and then posting them to facebook is a different matter because I don’t have one yet)

 

The article goes on to describe how people are demanding wireless wherever they vacation, even if it’s camping. Did you know 5,000 of our 13,000 campgrounds now offer wireless? It boggles my mind. We have become so connected that we can’t function even on vacation unless we have our Kindles, laptops and smartphones with us.

I remember packing a backpack of things to keep entertained during a trip – either a plane or car ride. There would be coloring books or a sketch pad, kids puzzle books, a magazine as a treat, and a book or two for me to read. As I got older the bag included a gameboy and then an iPod (the kind that just plays music). But now it’s either my laptop or my iPod touch or both. (I’ll still have the books though.)

 

If the kids build a sandcastle on the beach and mom doesn’t update her Facebook status, did it happen?

I love this quote – reminds me of our generation’s insistence that nothing is official until it is on facebook. But there’s a difference between using the site to record memories – like the first sandcastle of the season, and live blogging every sandcastle of the summer. Some people know the difference and can leave their technology at home while others remain tethered to their smartphones.

Just something to keep in mind now that vacation season is starting up.

Pure Fluff

Good afternoon readers! Considering the student body’s only concern for the past and next few days is focused completely on papers, finals, and tech weeks, I thought it would be a good idea to take a break from hard thinking. That’s why this week, instead of attempting to talk about something deep or meaningful, I thought it would be more fun to take a few minutes and think about something useless and silly. Something that doesn’t involve school, higher education, or even much brain function. This weeks topic is something full of fluff: the humongous plot hole in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (more…)

Linguistically Challenged

Sickle cell anemia prevents malaria. The name Catherine can be anagrammed 553 different ways. A rat can last longer without water than  a camel. A crocodile can’t stick it’s tongue out. Genetically speaking, we are more closely related to bananas than Neanderthals.

As you might have guessed by that introduction, I love useless trivia. I feel like knowing random facts about the world purely for entertainment’s sake, is great! True I may never need to know any of this in any situation other than to inform other people who love useless trivia, but the point isn’t to use the information. The point is to enjoy the information. To revel in just how cool and interesting all of this is.

My newest trivia obsession: words we don’t have in English, or foreign words that can’t be translated into English. They’re called lexical gaps, or lacuna. For example, (more…)

Hidden Treasure

A couple weekends ago, a group of friends and I went into Boston for the day. We had lunch at Quincy Market, walked around looking at the building and a little park we found, and wandered through Newbury Comics. Everyone had a great time. My favorite part of the trip? The used bookstore we went into, Commonwealth Books.

Why did I love this store so much? Several reasons actually. One: books! Two: (more…)

Bi. Not Confused, Bi

So today I want to talk about something that seems to be coming up in conversation a lot recently: bisexuality. More so the misconceptions about it.

From my experience, a lot of people (both outside and inside of the LGBTQ community) see bisexuality as something that doesn’t really exist. They see it as either the last stepping stone toward becoming gay, a gay person trying to stay in denial, or a straight person looking for attention or acceptance. Well, I’ve identified as bisexual since eighth grade and I can tell you that none of these are true. Believe it or not, it is possible for someone to be attracted to two genders. Trust me; I’m not the only one.

That’s another thing most people get confused about with bisexuality. Being bisexual doesn’t necessarily mean that you are attracted strictly to males and females. (more…)

Write What You Know

Almost all writers have heard the phrase “write what you know.” It’s the kind of common sense advice that is too soon disregarded; not that we are to be limited by our experience, but that we should let that experience inform and guide our writing. And if a certain topic lies outside our realm of experience, it is usually possible to expand our realm of knowledge – after all, what else is the internet good for? (Actually, don’t answer that.)

The point is, it can be difficult for writers to force a perspective to which they cannot relate, and stories ought to be at least as varied and diverse as the authors who wrote them.

Unfortunately, that is often not the case.

(more…)

Old Fashioned Future

Why are people so concerned about flying cars? Everything else seems to have arrived. That future isn’t even in style anymore. What I’m talking about is that old-fashioned future that people envisioned all those decades ago. Our vision has changed drastically.

In the old days, the future was a shiny place made out of  chrome. People ate food in pill form, talked on videophones and drove flying cars. Presently, we don’t have pill-food, but there is a pill for almost anything else. Also, freeze-dried food is close enough. Ever get astronaut ice-cream from the Museum of Natural History? That stuff is delicious! We also currently have videophone. It started with webcams, which evolved to Skype and other programs that you can now use on your phones. That’s not all we have today. Have you seen a computer? You’re reading this blog so I assume you have. The internet: a digital program that can connect you to anyone in the world with the press on a button. You can hold the world in the palm of your hand. (more…)